James Dixon & Sons Round Brass & German Silver Round Whistles (Part I.d.) A. Strauss

James Dixon & Sons Round Brass & German Silver Round Whistles (Part I.d.)
A. Strauss

After the First Early period 1800 to 1835 and later up to 1865 which was reviewed here with early examples I  move forward to look at some more German Nickel or Nickel Silver & Brass whistles, not it in chronological order.
Cracking the general early date code of whistles in the article about Stevens & Sons was a Benchmark, which enabled a clearer view of another giant whistle maker – Dixon & Sons. At the top a whistle which had been made by James Dixon the founder himself. (See next Paragraph).

Continue reading James Dixon & Sons Round Brass & German Silver Round Whistles (Part I.d.) A. Strauss

James Dixon & Sons Whistles & History In the 19th Century. Avner Strauss

James Dixon, Dixon & Son, James Dixon & Sons Whistles, A Brief History of Whistles in a Few Parts. Avner Strauss

Under construction, kindly drop in occasionally for updates.

                                        Whistle Model # 55 by Dixon & Sons


Recently I have been digging through layers of “modern archeology”, specifically of whistles in the 19th century. Decade by decade, I have been “peeling” off the layers to reveal earlier dates. Identifying and discovering new whistles and information is a fascinating and rewarding subject for me to engage with. Discovering the first examples of dated escargots, the Bean Police, or Stevens model #27, are just a few examples. Likewise, discovering previously unknown whistle makers and bringing to light new information was a great reward for years of researching. Each discovery leads to new understandings, which, in turn, lead to an ever-increasing interest. I take great pleasure in sharing my thoughts and findings and wish to someday open a real whistle museum as well as publish my research, thus making everything even more accessible.

Dixon & Sons was one of the four large whistle makers in England up to 1880. While T. Yates and Stevens, and W. Dowler, the other three makers, were large, Dixon was, by far, larger. The family’s history and products are well documented and I can turn the attention of readers to one of few books. Here is a link to a PDF of one of them. In what follows, I shall concentrate on whistles and give a short overview of their history.

I started my research after coming across the 1st known TNT whistle stamped by Dixon (2006). I now know there are two of them. After I posted my first bit of research about Dixon on Wikipedia, someone noted that it should be erased as it is doubtful that a company by that name ever existed… Today, there are already hundreds of articles and photos, as well as many other resources. However, the subject of whistles is relatively still little-researched, and therefore I hope this text will contribute to collectors and others interested in whistles.

Here is an old post I wrote about Dixon (it includes mistakes, but since it was archived somewhere else, I cannot revise it): http://archive.is/RuZZb

The article shared here is, hitherto, the most comprehensive essay about the subject of Dixon & Sons whistles. There are, of course, many whistles I know of and did not include, as well as many that are still waiting to be discovered.

The full article is in 9 sub-parts. 
Part I (6 chapters)

1) Brief History and data (19th Century)
Part I.a. Round whistles by Dixon & Sons;
2) Early Period Round Whistles and ‘The sheffield Mouthpiece & Fipple’ I. a.,
3) Round Ivory & Horn I.b.
4) Animal Head Whistles, I.c.

5) Round Brass & German Silver Whistles. Signal Whistles and ‘Pig nose’ Whistles
6) Round Britannia Metal Whistles & Model #49. Part I.e.

Part 2 (3 chapters)
More whistles by Dixon & Sons, including
7) Beauforts,

8) Extractors, combination whistles, Shooting Gudgets and other combination whistles. II. .b
9) James Dixon & Sons Other Rare Whistle Models & Designs. II.c. 

As a rule, my observation is that many whistles made as DOG CALLS did not use a pea. (A.S*)
A small collection of 41 whistles was given by the Dixon family in 1938 to the city of Sheffield, and was exhibited at the city hall. There are many whistles which Dixon made during the 19th century and are not among these.

You may take a CLOSE look and note that 27 are ROUND WHISTLES, and 6 more are round whistles combined with shooting gudgets.


The James Dixon & Sons Company was a family-run business for 170 years (up to 1876) and was located at Cornish Place for over 180 years (up to 1992).
James Dixon was the Founder company established 1806.
James Dixon later  Dixon & Sons were one of the major British manufacturers in the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. They were well known as manufacturers of pewterware, electroplated Britannia metal, silverware, and electroplated nickel silver. Their product range included hundreds of items for domestic use in the kitchen (inc. bowls, cutting-tools), and the dining room (e.g. tea services, cocktail shakers and mixers), and items like candlesticks for general household use. They were also a world leader in manufacturing shooting accessories through the nineteenth century, and exported powder flasks in large quantities to America. While Dixon & Sons were known for their whistles, all of their products were of outstanding quality. Continue reading James Dixon & Sons Whistles & History In the 19th Century. Avner Strauss

Stevens & Sons Round Whistles & Some Special Ones, Part C. by Avner Strauss

Stevens & Sons Whistles (Part C)

Part A 
Part B
Part D


Dating Metal Plates on Stevens Whistles by periods (4 periods) 

A Historic Whistle Discovered,
And few important dated ones. 

EARLY round whistles Pre Mid. 19th Century made
by or attributed to Stevens & Son

The Numbered Whistles (Whistle Models) & Numbered with Plates

THE ARTICLE IS STILL under construction

Plates found on whistles by Stevens & Son- Sons 
dating and examination of plates & examples

The common plates can be devided into 4 groups and periods. * and **
Here they are in chronological order:
Continue reading Stevens & Sons Round Whistles & Some Special Ones, Part C. by Avner Strauss

John Westwood The first Glasgow Whistle Maker & Samuel Auld Whistles Breaking News ! A. Strauss

John. M. Westwood *  whistle maker  b.1856 – d. 1886
His family (James Westwood His Dad) seems to have come from New York with his other brothers, all in the brass foundry business (His brothers in the trade James, Robert, Alexander ) & a relative named Andrews who shows up later as  working with him).
John opened his own business in 1872 as Tinsmith and Gas Fitter at 73 Cumberland St. Calton, Glasgow .
                      Excerpt from 1973 Directory.Westwood made whistle which later became the model identified with S. Auld whistles.
Continue reading John Westwood The first Glasgow Whistle Maker & Samuel Auld Whistles Breaking News ! A. Strauss

Three Call Tube Whistle Patent 20, 820 By Burleigh , Discovered,  app. 1900 Grunted 1901. A. Strauss

Breaking News !!! A Victorian Three Call Tube Whistle Patent 20, 820 By Burleigh , Discovered  app. 1900 Grunted 1901 .  A. Strauss
An Intricate desgin including 3 Tube whistles, three different shapes Mouth Pieces, a round one a triangular one and a flat rectangular one.
One of the three tube whistle is a TNT  (Two note tube whistle )
The 3 tubes have variations  and can fold see Illusrations number III & Num. IV. Certainly was an expensive one to make at he time. 

Breaking News ! A Large Reward for Antique Whistle Finder info at AvnerStrauss.com
Antique Whistle Patent, A Strauss THREE CALL TUBE WHISTLE PATENT. Burleigh,Clapham Common , LONDON. 1900

A Reward is expecting the person who find us one of the actual triple whistles !

All rights reserved . A. Strauss 2017

Charles Parker, A Birmingham Whistle Maker History and News about Dowler & Sons A.Strauss

Charles Parker was a maker of professional  whistles in the first half of the 19th Century in Birmingham.

Although he died early  in 1852 he had a great impact . As inventor he may well had been the first to design the First Beaufort whistle with the common STANDARD design in the late 1840s, and the Wedge diaphragm .
See Photos of 3 Standard Beaufort shaped (Two Notes Conical Whistles ) with
Parker’s name stamp variations. (Along Body Parker ,  Parker & Dowler and Parker facing top)

His connection to William Dowler (Later & Sons ) In the early 1850s  is a fascinating find and led me to observe Dowler & Sons were  the first to supply Police & Constabulary whistles stamped with a force name .
(some through agents ).
The history of this newly discovered maker is entwined with the history of few companies mostly The Merry family & Dowler ( Footnote)*
The 42 Cherry St. Birmingham can be used as a center point to tell some of what I had found up to now.

Birmingham , Cherry St. view 1880s

The address of 42 Cherry St. ( # 40 & 41 were used by the Merry family as well in various years ) served as a Brass foundry and all manufacturers mentioned were Button &  Military Ornament Makers, beside other goods. Here are the various companies occupying The address as mentioned by various sources in Chronological order : Continue reading Charles Parker, A Birmingham Whistle Maker History and News about Dowler & Sons A.Strauss

Black & Co. a 19th Century Glasgow Whistle Maker History & Whistles. A. Strauss

Black & Co. ( David Black ) 81 North Frederick St. Glasgow –  1885 (or 1883) to 1898 ,  Zin & Tin workers Packing-Case Makers  were pioneers of Snail type whistle making and may well have been the first to use the title ‘ Thunderer ‘ for a whistle.
Little was known about the company’s  History, a new whistle; the first one stamped with maker’s name which proved to be a Key Whistle, triggered me to more research and findings .
Previously many whistles as these, none stamped whistles attributed to Black showed, All 5 piece London type snail ( Escargot ) whistles.
Here is the new one, fully stamped found.

A railway guard whistle stamped D. Black Maker Glasgow, And  C & OR for Callander & Oban Railway  (a small railway Co. ) on one side,  other side shows # 3

Black & Co., Ltd.
Address : 81 North Frederick St. Glasgow
 1886 Glasgow post office directory.
 Mrs. Black was manager of the Black & Co. Making cases,  By 1886 they were Continue reading Black & Co. a 19th Century Glasgow Whistle Maker History & Whistles. A. Strauss

Police Fire-Genaral Service Whistles-2-note-cylinderical-whistles-two-notes-tube-whistles-gsws-bobbie-whistle

Police & Fire, General service whistles, 2 note cylindrical whistles, two notes tube whistles, GSWs, Bobbie whistle
Police or Fire whistles, The City whistle, The City Police. (To be cont.)   A Strauss Copyright © 2009

Preface : This article was written about 8 years ago and was published 2009 in the older whistle museum website. I bring it as is albeit  I have learned many things and meanwhile discovered more whistles and gained some more knowledge although it may have some mistakes I leave it as is  I would try and find time to edit meanwhile I bring it as it is, but I shall add a note that the number 13 referred to patent class, at the time I did not know that .
It is my observation today that these stamps and whistles are a huge subject since it was an important outlet for many makers , for two reasons:
1) The minimum order at the time was the quantity of 144 (Twelve dozens ) whistles, making a particular stamp was expensive and so these whistles were in use with many smaller forces and rural police , Fire brigades etc that did not or could not order that minimum in a particular time point.
2) Hudson did have a very large part of the market with the Metropolitan Whistle type and ” The answer to the Metropolitan ”  was the City Police Police Or Fire etc, stamps  which gave smaller companies a break thru to many smaller forces,  local suppliers and individuals.

You are welcome to ask questions or send to my email : info@avnerstrauss.com
or join the antique whistle group in facebook , It proved very helpful in sharing and learning about whistles .
Best wishes Aver Strauss

Police & Fire, General service whistles, 2 note cylinderical whistles, Two notes tube whistles – ( TNT or TNTW) , GSWs, Bobbie whistle
Police or Fire whistles, The City whistle, The City Police. (To be cont.)
A Strauss Copyright © 2009
These whistles are a favorite subject of mine, a subject usually over looked by whistle collectors & little researched,  there are  few hundred variations made by many British makers (Yates, Ward, Hudson, Walton, DeCourcy , Barrall ) and by German, American, Chinese & Indian makers, as well as stamps by Numerous RETAILERS & Companies,  many yet to be discovered .
All these whistles belong to the professional type whistles referred to as General service whistles, GSW’s, [ we all should be in debt to Martin Gilchrist who was a pioneer and mentor  in the research of GSW’s – General Service Whistles , a term he coined and his marvelous books about whistles ]   2 note cylinderical whistles, Two notes tube whistles, Bobbie whistle.

All these whistles have two main stamp variations;

A)  Stamps with the words “Police or Fire” or “Fire & Police”

B ) Stamps with the word “City” included (“The City police ” or “The City Police or Fire” etc.) *

Many times a maker can be identified by the wording / name of whistle
and by the stamp design and number of lines, I had made a list of these body stamps and still work on it.
The evolution of the stamps follows somewhat a chronological order , The city, The City Police , The city Police or Fire, City police or fire whistle.
There are hundreds of stamp variations and since these were made over a relatively long period they can serve whistle enthusiasts well for a comparative study & research.
Another aspect is that most do not carry the makers name and it is a challenge to identify the maker which at times needs  research, comparing and observing, using  small details to identify the maker. NMM is short here for no maker mark.
Some stamps can serve well to Identify the maker.

Since it is a new subject and has many aspects I will slowly update it, these whistles were all made from the late 1880s to 1930s , and used for various purposes notably with many factories mainly textile and arms Companies & Laboratories, were dangers of fire hazards were crucial & by local police and security forces all over the old world.



H A Ward , “The Standart Police or Fire Whistle”, two stamp variations, one with maker’s name, one without.
2 Lines Stamp & 4 Lines Stamp. made 1889 to early 1900. Nickel Plated Brass 88mm. superior sound and quality, Ward’s top model.
Continue reading Police Fire-Genaral Service Whistles-2-note-cylinderical-whistles-two-notes-tube-whistles-gsws-bobbie-whistle

19th Century Round Pea Whistles Timeline History and more. By A. Strauss

Early 1870 master piece, round pea whistle ,By J.Hudson or Linegar whistle museum
Above J. Hudson 1870’s Round Pea whistle with a stop hole, Birmingham.

See READ MORE For few dozens photos


This article is just a glimpse and a part of Part one in a very long 7 part research into this type of whistles,  consider it a first draft , There are MANY more which can be accurately dated and way more which I could not yet accurately date
but as a draft it may inspire others and you may send and email to info@avnerstrauss.com to add ask contact.
I would try to first cover  mostly British 19th Century and some whistles of other countries without going into many details, since some countries deserve another article.
Part one is a draft and 19th Century General Time line and whistle designs.

Continue reading 19th Century Round Pea Whistles Timeline History and more. By A. Strauss

Slide whistle, J. Stevens & Son Model # 36 Glasgow, nineteenth Century ,England

Stevens & Sons  Glasgow and London , see British Whistle Manufacturer History ,  The whistle was Probably made around 1850’s and designed by Richard Porteous. It is marked a Model # 36 on the body.
( August 5,  1802 – Jan. 3, 1881)
Closed position stevens's slide model 36It is a  brilliant  design since while other slide whistles of the period 1840’s and 1850’s had a sliding rod which could be moved in and out inside to determin the pitch , this design has the cap top around the body and the sliding part is out side the whistle’s body.

Open position & back sidestevens model 36 whistle backside

The Three partsstevens model 36 whistle 3 parts

Certainly a  very innovative tricky design, of a Slide whistle, unlike most slide whistles it has a smaller register within a range of a 5th, not a full octave. C – G notes.  the picture above shows its unassembled 3 parts.
The shorter part has a fillet and longer one a flare outward , so once the longer part (middle of  picture) slides into the shorter part which is just a bit wider  and comes to a stop at the flare, then the loop – knop top screws on top and the and by pulling the knop the slide works making the whistle shorter or longer.
The top part is cast and milled and has a screw thread on the inner part, all made of one piece.
All in all very rare and extremely well made whistle.
Made of German silver.

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